Freestanding Shade Structures for your Home or Business: What to Know

January 14, 2019

PictureFreestanding Slide on Wire Awnings

​We all know what an awning or patio cover is and the basic functions of these residential or commercial installations. But what are freestanding shade structures? How are they useful and what are they for?
Freestanding shade structures come in various shapes, types, materials, and sizes. The structures are used in various industrial, commercial, and residential applications. The structures are used on playgrounds, as shading options near pools (like cabanas but larger), hotel lounge areas, and as outdoor work areas. 

PictureFreestanding Cabana with Decorative Curtains

​The structures provide industrial and commercial businesses the ability to expand the footprint of building or work space without purchasing more land. Freestanding shade structures are also used in backyards as lounge areas where families can sit and read books, dine, or simply relax.
Frames of the structures vary and come in wood, aluminum, metal, plastics, and other specialty options. The fabrics and design of the shade can also vary and include:

PictureFreestanding Shade Sail

  • Shade sails: Like sails on a ship, these can be layered to create beautiful designs.
  • Standard Fabric: Like an awning attached to your home, standard fabrics can come in one piece, large enough to fit the structure and provide shade.
  • Lattices: Strips of wood or metal and even fabric, are crossed and fastened together to form squares or diamond shapes. Typically, you see this with wood structures, but lattices can be used in freestanding shades. You also see lattices used to grow vines and other flowers and are great for use in freestanding shades. 

PictureFreestanding Flat Cabanas with Curtains

  • Drapes: With free standing shades, you can add drapes to enclose the area and add a level of ambiance and privacy for both residential and commercial uses.
  • Curtains: Curtains, like drapes, can be added to create an appealing aesthetic and provide privacy, like what you would see in cabanas or outdoor dining areas.
  • And Other Specially Engineered Designs: Freestanding shades can be designed with various colors and styles and depending on the installer you’re working with, can be specially engineered to suit your tastes and business needs. 

​Finally, freestanding shade structures are great additions to any home, business, or industrial space. The structures add value to your business and can attract clientele and expand your footprint without the added cost of leasing or buying more space.  
For more about what we do, or how we can help you with your next commercial or residential freestanding shade structure project, feel free to contact us. For more information about awnings and other shade structures, visit us online at American Awning & Blind Co. at (Our California Contractors License is #999050). Or give us a call at 800-654-5933. You can also email us at